Birding Cairns

Birding Cairns is a local bird-watching club based in Cairns, N.E.Queensland, Australia. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Also hosting the Cairns Birding Forum and Michaelmas Cay Report

Friday, October 14, 2005



Editor - ANDY ANDERSON, , tel 07 40318803, mobile 04 38318804, Box 7999, Cairns 4870.
Events Convener - ANDY ANDERSON
Cairns Contact - JOHN CROWHURST, 40514194
Public Relations Organiser - JOHN SEALE, tel 40521195,
BOCA Challenge Count Co-ordinator - DOMINIC CHAPLIN, tel 40562658

Birding Cairns
Activities of Birding Cairns, many of the members of which are also members of the original club which was a branch of the Bird Observers Club of Australia (BOCA). Current members of BOCA that belong to Birding Cairns can consider that they are still members of the Cairns Branch of the BOCA and are covered by BOCA's Public Liability Insurance.
Non-members of BOCA are not covered by this insurance and should arrange their own Accident Insurance if they feel that is necessary. Birding Cairns recognises that individuals should be responsible for their own actions and should be prepared to acknowledge that before coming out with us. This includes all visitors to Cairns who are most welcome to join us on any of our events.

For outings information and travel assistance ring one of those above.

Birding Cairns does something most Sundays -

Lakes Walks and out-of-town Field Trips in the mornings,
Esplanade watching at any time of day (depending on tides) and
Occasional Evenings together at the Cock and Bull or at slide shows.

1st Sunday of the month - Monthly Lakes Walk, 0630 at the Freshwater Lake, Cairns.
2nd Sunday of the month - Esplanade birding sometimes followed by casual get-together, Cock & Bull, Grove St, Cairns.
3rd Sunday of the month - Monthly Field Trip
4th Sunday of the month - Esplanade birding followed by occasional slide evenings.


2005 -2006
Nov 27. Esplanade - good viewing at 1530.
Dec 3. BOCA Challenge Count. All day.(Most of the day?). Dominic Chaplin is co-ordinating teams.
Although we have been beaten for sheer numbers of birds in recent years our group still wins in the number of species identified in the 24hr period.
Dec 4. Monthly Lakes Walk, 0630 at the Freshwater Lake, Cairns.
Dec 11. Esplanade - good viewing at
Dec 18. Lake Morris Road. Meet at Reservoir Rd turnoff 0700. Xmas picnic get-together to be announced later.
Dec 25.
Jan 1. Monthly Lakes Walk, 0630 at the Freshwater Lake, Cairns.

Thanks to John Crowhurst & John Seale for their suggestions and help with this programme.

TRIP REPORTS compiled by John Seale unless otherwise stated.

APRIL 3rd 2005 - Centenary Lakes walk.
Today we had a turnout of approx 14 people. Another SUN advert seemed to attract one new person. None of the 7 new people from last month showed up!!. Also we were joined by Bengt, a Swedish tourist, who saw our group and tagged along. An early morning shower did not dampen our birding. The number of species that turned up for us to see was 51 for the morning. A juvenile White-browed Crake may have confirmed the black ball of fluff that was glimpsed last month. We had five separate Striated Herons, Black Bittern, Little Kingfisher, a Wompoo Frit-Dove and a couple of Dollarbirds. Water birds were very few. A pair of Black Duck, 2 Little Black Cormorants and a Great and a Little Egret on the saltwater pond. We all had excellent views of a Juvenile Brush Cuckoo whose incessant begging calls ensured that the pair of
Brown-backed Honeyeaters feeding it, were kept very busy. A Rufous Fantail was seen in the mangroves of Saltwater Creek. Thanks to Patrick and, later, John Seale for keeping the bird count and to all those who looked after our newcomers and answered their queries.

MARCH 6TH 2005 - Centenary Lakes walk.
Today we had a great turnout of approx 23 people. Andy was back from the Philippines and Mark back from Thailand/India and John C back from the clutches of the 'flu. John S brought along a couple of Americans and half way through the walk we were joined by 4 more Americans who had heard about the walk via the Bird Routes section of our NEW website. In addition, an advert in the previous week's Cairns SUN had attracted
7 locals. Luckily we had a good show by the birds giving us 50 for the morning. It was good that so many newcomers were able to see new birds. The prolific Carpentaria Palm fruits attracted the Pied Imperial Pigeons as well as the odd male Koel. The White-browed Crakes showed well and we had excellent views of 2 separate Striated Herons (1 Juv and 1 adult). Fleeting glimpses of Black Bittern and Little Kingfisher kept us all alert. Water birds were very few. A pair of Black Duck, a Wandering Whistling Duck arrived as we watched the Osprey and NO egrets. A pair of juvenile Brahminy Kites soared high overhead and we all had good views of an Osprey preening and then trying its luck at fishing in the freshwater lake. The open area near the boardwalk start/end, produced 6 or 7 Fig Parrots high up near nesting holes as well as a Dollarbird. The Bush stone Curlew + 1 juv and the saltwater lakes' Mangrove Kingfisher and Common Sandpiper showed up as did a Gould's Bronze Cuckoo being fed by Large-billed Gerygones. The mild weather and the large numbers ensured that we did not finish until 0930. Let us hope that some of the new locals continue to join our trips. Thanks to David A and Patrick for keeping the bird count and all those who looked after our newcomers and answered their queries.

FEBRUARY 20TH 2005 - Mt Haren Road, Kuranda.
Today we had a small turnout of approx 8 people, 4 of whom had not visited the location before. While waiting at the meeting point, King Parrots were feeding on a nearby tree. With the warm weather and the early chorus of cicadas the birding was a bit difficult. We parked at the entrance to the Flying Doctor Hill and walked up to the gate and then back down and to the end of the bitumen. The highlight was a great view of a Grey Goshawk perched in a tree followed about half an hour later by 3 Grey Goshawks flying up above the road. We got Fairy Gerygone, Wompoo Pigeon, Grey Whistler and Spotted Catbirds. The day ended early. Thanks to David A and Patrick for keeping the bird count .

FEBRUARY 6TH 2005 - Centenary Lakes walk.
Today we had a turnout of approx 9 people. The weather was threatening rain and the crocodile had been removed from the freshwater lake. We recorded 43 species. We had excellent views of Black Bittern and a Striated Heron as they worked the same pond edge about 3 metres apart. The Little Kingfisher kindly put in an appearance after several weeks absence. A pair of Masked Lapwings were fiercely protecting their newly
hatched young. A fawn coloured Indian runner duck was not shy in walking after us. How do these birds get here??. The Bush Stone Curlew + 2 juvs and the saltwater lakes' Mangrove Kingfishers plus 2 young are still hanging around. The showers made us take shelter Thanks to David A and Patrick for keeping the bird count.

JANUARY 20th 2005 - Rifle Creek/Mt Carbine.
Today we had a very small turnout of 4 people. Unfortunately, the birding was very patchy.
We started around Rifle Creek and got Pale Yellow Robin etc. We then walked up Wetherby Road opposite Rifle Creek and picked up a Northern Fantail. Off to Mt Carbine. We got the Bustard on East Road at Mary Farms. We saw 2 birds one bigger than the other. The smaller bird caused problems as to whether it was a female or a
juvenile. The lakes at Mt Carbine had Great Crested Grebe, Wandering Whistling Ducks and a raft of Eurasian Coot. We explored the local cemetery with little return. Despite a huge downpour on our way back we waited and stopped at Station Creek where we drove in for about 1 km and got Scarlet, White-throated and ? Honeyeaters in the blossoms there.

JANUARY 2nd 2005 - Centenary Lakes walk
Today we had a turnout of approx 11 people including 2 visitors from NSW. The weather was warm rain. We recorded 40 species. A pair of Masked Lapwings were fiercely protecting their nest on a mud island in the freshwater lake. No Little Kingfisher but plenty of Black Ducks and other waterbirds. The Bush Stone Curlews proved popular with the NSW visitors as did the Mangrove Kingfishers plus 2 young. The showers proved very persistent, but warm, and curtailed the morning somewhat.
Thanks to David A and Patrick for keeping the bird count.


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